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by Daniel DeGasperi

The first spy shots of the next-generation Holden Cruze have emerged, more than three years before the new car is scheduled to roll off Holden’s Adelaide production line.

The camouflaged mule was snapped during cold-weather testing, revealing the next Cruze’s form language and styling elements.

Compared with the current Cruze, which went on sale in 2009, the new car has a noticeably higher belt line and broader flanks, with a ‘faster’ C-pillar than the first-generation model. The door handles also sit much higher on the doors than the outgoing four-year-old model.

A shorter bootlid includes a prominent, integrated ‘lip’ spoiler, while the rear styling makes greater use of angular lines – including a trapezoidal border for the concave number plate surround. Wrap-around headlights appear similar in style to the current Cruze sedan.

Frontal styling appears closely related to the Holden Barina, with a larger mixed grille and air intake combination even more dominant than that of its hatchback sibling. Exposed headlights appear to also follow the styling direction seen in the two-year-old Barina.

The second-generation Holden Cruze seen here will be one of two cars Holden has confirmed it will build locally from late 2016, as part of the company’s commitment to build ‘global’ next-generation cars until at least 2022.

The car will utilise an all-new platform, dubbed Dx22 internally, which is set to replace the current Delta platform shared between the Cruze and Opel Astra. Although Opel will continue to use the new platform for its next small hatchback, Dx22 is engineered to be far more modular than the outgoing Delta, meaning it can be used across a broader spectrum of GM vehicles.

A wholly turbocharged range is likely, as GM Powertrain continues to roll out its new breed of smaller-capacity, forced-induction motors, the range of which is tagged Small Gasoline Engine (SGE). The breed of three- and four-cylinder engines have been engineered by GM’s European arm Opel in partnership with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) which will use the engine for its reborn MG brand.

The engines will have a swept capacity between 1.0- and 1.5-litres, and will debut in the Opel Adam next year. The range of new direct-injection, lightweight, and modular engines is also scheduled in the 2014 Barina/Sonic and 2015 MG3 before expanding its range with larger-capacity versions in this new Cruze one year later.

The second-generation Cruze is expected to debut globally in 2015, with production starting in Australia the following year.




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